Wednesday, July 17, 2013

California Pregnancy Discrimination Law

Pregnancy Discrimination Law: Taking Care of Expectant Mothers in the Workplace


Pregnancy is a very challenging time for any woman. During this stage of their lives, they need love and the best care possible, especially with the ladies in the workplace. However, there are times when they fall victims of abuse and discrimination while at work. With Pregnancy Discrimination in California and many parts of the country being rampant, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was made into law. This provisions aiming to protect pregnant women, and a California Sex Discrimination Lawyer believe these have loopholes. These lapses let some rude employees get away with their discriminating acts, putting pregnant workers in dire situations. And so, an amendment to this law, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was made.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act and its coverage

Being an amendment to Title VII, this law explicitly highlights the prohibition of discrimination based on the pregnancy of an individual. What this means is that employers cannot make employment-related decisions like one’s hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits like leave and health insurance, and other terms or conditions of employment based on one’s pregnancy. This gives protection to pregnant women, preventing them to fall victims of abusive and discriminating employers,

For pregnant women suffering from temporary disability

Under the PDA, a woman that is unable to perform her job because of pregnancy or childbirth-related medical condition must be treated in the same way one treat a temporarily disabled employee. Because of this law, an employer must extend the necessary accommodation for the female worker during the time of her pregnancy. Things like assigning a pregnant employee to do light duty tasks, giving alternative assignments, allowing disability leaves or unpaid leaves should also be given to pregnant women the way some temporarily disabled individuals receive such benefits.

In some unique instances, women suffer from different impairments during their pregnancy. A pregnant woman that contacts gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, is covered in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). In such cases, an employer should provide reasonable accommodation a pregnant woman suffering from any of the given situation.

PDA against discrimination and harassment in the workplace

Also under this law, all kinds of discrimination are being prohibited. No pregnant woman should be exposed to any form of discrimination. Any act that creates or promotes a hostile work environment is strictly prohibited. Also, any employment decision such as termination or demotion based on the condition of the pregnant employee can be considered an act of discrimination and is punishable under this law.

Special leave benefits under the PDA

It is perfectly understandable that a pregnant woman may feel sick every now and then. The PDA also has that covered. Under this law, an employer is required to allow a pregnant woman to take disability leaves or unpaid leaves, just like it would a temporarily disabled employee. Also, employers must not single out conditions related to pregnancy in determining an employee’s capability to work. What is allowed though is for employers to require its workers to secure a doctor’s statement if they are fit to work before these leave or sick benefits are to be granted and paid.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993

The PDA may be well-thought but this law alone does not cover all of the issues faced by pregnant employees. That is why other laws are created to augment the PDA and ensure that all of the rights of pregnant employees are addressed. One of these laws is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under this law, parents can be allowed to take 12 weeks of leave paid or unpaid. Such leaves can be used by an individual to take care of a new child. One employee must at least have been able to work for 12 months before the leave was taken to be allowed to do so.

Other workplace laws for pregnant employees

More than the leaves and protection that the PDA and the FMLA offer, there are also some provisions like allowing nursing mothers the right to express milk in the workplace as dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These laws are created to ensure that every pregnant employee is extended all the help it could get to ensure a successful pregnancy.

If you have been a victim of violations under these laws, then you should find a pregnancy discrimination lawyer quick. However, not any lawyer would do as you need the services of someone who’s an expert when it comes to employment and labor laws in California. A pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles, California has better knowledge of these statutes and can help you tremendously in ensuring that you get to fight for your right and improve your chances of succeeding with your claims.